Thank you for writing to me about the recently announced migration partnership with Rwanda.
For too long we have failed to tackle the ruthless gangs of people smugglers who endanger the lives of the most vulnerable and treat human beings as cargo with no regard for their safety.
We must do everything in our power to greatly reduce the number of dangerous and illegal boat crossings that are placing unsustainable pressures on our public services, whilst also reducing our capacity to support the most vulnerable with safe and legal routes to the UK.
That is why the Home Secretary has signed the migration and economic development partnership with Rwanda that you reference in your email. This partnership will see migrants that make the dangerous and illegal journey to the UK, often in small boats or hidden in lorries, have their asylum claims processed in Rwanda.
The UK has a proud history of helping those in need and I fully support the work that the Government has undertaken to welcome those fleeing tyranny and persecution in their home countries. From Syria, Afghanistan, Ukraine, and Hong Kong, this Government has done more than any other to provide vulnerable people with safe and legal routes to the UK. But for too long our system has been abused by criminal gangs who seek to circumvent our immigration system. In doing so they have cost the lives of hundreds and endangered thousands through their dangerous routes. This policy aims to bring them to an end.
It is worth noting that the UK is not alone in pursuing such an approach to tackling illegal migration. Australia and Israel have both used such a system and most recently Denmark is seeking an arrangement with Rwanda to do the same. We are not unique in approaching it in this manner.
Lastly, it is important to note that those wishing to come to the UK through the legal routes are still able to do so. People are able to apply through our embassies and Home Office posts to come to the UK. This policy is solely aimed at ending illegal migration.
I understand there are concerns about how the partnership with Rwanda will work in practice and I will be closely following the work of the Government as more details are made available.